* Frosty Readers 2005 *
Susan and Pattie are back with another one of their great projects!
Frosty Readers 2005
asks participants to choose a piece of literature with a winter theme and then extend it using a piece of computer software.

We read In the Snow by Huy Voun Lee. After reading this terrific book about a mother teaching her child how to write Chinese characters in new fallen snow, we decided to try our hands at it!

About This Project
This project had many challenges for us. First we had weather challenges - a blizzard and many snowy days which meant school closures. Many children were sick and absent from school. We also had a school vacation.

We had technology challenges, as well. My original plan to have the children create Chinese characters in Kidpix failed and our projector in the Computer Lab blew a fuse.

It would have been easy to give up, but we perservered and learned something new about Appleworks along the way. We hope you like our final product - it surely is a work of heart!


Part I - Writing Characters in the Snow

Braving freezing temperatures, we ventured outside.
Using the ends of paintbrushes, we began our work.

Even though the wind was bone chilling, we managed
to create some wonderful Chinese characters in the snow.
Part II - Group Work and Poem Creation
This book provides front and back pages with Chinese characters, their meanings, and their pronunciation. Working in groups of two or three, the children were asked to create a simple beautiful thought, using only the characters they found on the pages. The children did a terrific job! Now on to the next step...adding the technology component.

Part III - Creating Chinese Characters in Kidpix
With poems and characters in hand, we headed to the Computer Lab. My idea was to have each of the children create one of the characters in their poem in Kidpix. Then I would put them together where we could then add audio. This DID NOT WORK!!! Creating characters in Kidpix proved to be too difficult for most of the children, so back to the drawing board!

Part IV - Creating Characters with Pencils and Pens
The children had a much easier time writing characters with pencils, so back in the room that is what we did. They then traced their characters with Sharpies and we arranged them in the order of their poem.

Part V - Scanning and Appleworks Templates
Next I scanned their characters and saved them as jpgs. Using Appleworks Drawing I created a template for each group. The template consisted of their characters, two text boxes (one for poem, one for poets' names), all enclosed in a rectangle. My objective was to introduce them to the Drawing capability of Appleworks, along with the gradient fills available. Note: These were saved as Drawing files.

Part VI - Appleworks Drawing Templates
Back in the Computer Lab, the children opened their templates and set to work. They were asked to type their poem and their names and then choose a gradient fill that they felt best matched their words. This proved to be an easy task for most - YAY - and they did a GREAT job (even though not all chose the gradient I would have - :-o)! Each of these were saved as jpg files, so they could be imported into a Kidpix page later. Here is one example:

Part VII - Kidpix Slideshow
Each jpg file was inserted into a Kidpix page where voices were recorded and another background added. The children read the Chinese characters, then the poem, and finally the poet names. These pages were then put together in our "First Snow" Slideshow. We saved it as a quick-time movie, too, so we could import it to watch on the Wacky TV feature of Kidpix.

Part VIII - Jigsaw Puzzles!
Using jigzone.com, I uploaded our jpg files and turned them into puzzles! You can begin solving by clicking on the image above.

Here is where you can find our Puzzle Gallery with the rest of our images.

Important: When you go to the Puzzle Gallery, I definitely recommend you choose 20 piece classic as your puzzle cut (found at the top of the pictures). This is a very doable puzzle for second graders. You can also choose 6 piece classic for K and 1 kids, and more challenging cuts for older grades.ENJOY!


* Related Links *
Frosty Readers Activities
Created for the project, children will have loads of fun
with all these online and offline games and puzzles!

Huy Voun Lee Books
Included are two companion books for In the Snow -
At the Beach and In the Park

Write Chinese characters for numbers 1-10
A printable sheet for writing number characters

Animated Chinese Characters
Click on a topic, then a character and
you will see an animated version of how to write it.
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